Muzio Clementi was born four years before Mozart and outlived Beethoven by five. Thus this Italian pianist and composer helped fashion the entire Classical era in music. However, his pedagogical tour de force, the “Gradus ad parnassum”, has tended to negatively influence the esteem he enjoyed as an artist, something that our first volume of Clementi’s piano sonatas should help to rectify. This selection of ten moderately difficult to difficult works allows a glimpse into Clementi’s sonata workshop between 1768 and 1785. His predilection for the finer points of part-writing and contrapuntal art blend here with a formal and dignified classicism. Our carefully revised Urtext edition is based on the first versions of the pieces, published in the 1770s and 1780s.
- Level of difficulty (Explanation)
- Other titles with this level of difficulty
This volume contains a selection from the earlier piano sonatas of Muzio Clementi. They stem from the period of ca. 1768–1785 during which he established his reputation both in England and on the continent of Europe. The first two sonatas printed here belong to the years that Clementi spent in England before his continental travels of 1780–84. The first sonata is a very … more
About the composer
A composer, pianist, keyboard-instrument manufacturer, and music publisher from Italy. His volumes of piano music, foremost among them the exercises from Gradus ad Parnassum, op. 44, continue to occupy a prominent position in piano pedagogy. As a manufacturer of keyboard instruments he contributed to the further development of the pianoforte. His efforts as a publisher included helping to establish the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach throughout the world, and fostered the rediscovery of other Baroque composers. He mainly composed works for keyboard instruments, as well as orchestral and chamber music.
|1752||Born in Rome on January 23. First musical instruction from Antonio Boroni and others.|
|from 1766||He is appointed organist at the church of San Lorenzo in Damaso for eight months. Thereafter he enters the musical service of the aristocrat Peter Beckford at his manorial home at Steepleton Iwerne in southern England.|
|from 1775||through active concertgiving in London he establishes himself as a piano virtuoso.|
|from 1780||A longer concert tour leads him, among other places, to Paris and Vienna, where he is introduced at court.|
|1781||On December 24, he enters a virtuoso competition against Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart initiated by Emperor Joseph II.|
|from 1785||He is principal composer for the Hanover Square Grand Professional Concerts in London.|
|from 1802||An eight-year business trip as publisher and keyboard manufacturer takes him through Europe. During this time his pupils, including John Field, present his keyboard instruments.|
|1813–24||He is director of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.|
|1814||On December 7 he becomes a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.|
|1832||Dies in Evesham (Worcestershire) on March 10.|